Thinking Ahead: The Value of Pre-Planning
Sunday night, I watched a movie on Netflix titled Greater. It tells the true story of an American Football player, Brandon Burlsworth who started as a walk-on for Arkansa and became an All-American player. His story (spoiler alert!!) ends too soon and tragically when he was killed in a car accident in 1999.
The opening scene of the movie takes place at his funeral; a gym full of empty chairs, a few staged memorial tables, his casket at the front, and a few people walking around. My first thoughts were, “Did no one show up for his funeral?” I was really hoping that was not the case. As the movie continues to tell his story, you learn that could never be possible. The impact Brandon made on everyone in his life is like no other. Fast forward to the last 10-15 minutes of the movie, they’re about to open the doors to begin the funeral and you find a crowd of people eagerly waiting at the door. When the audience viewing the movie at home is finally welcomed into the funeral, you are overcome with joy and love. His loved ones and those he impacted in his short 23 years of life were all singing and clapping as they honored and remembered him. I turned to my husband and said, “Wow! What a party!”
These types of services can take many different forms. They can take the form of a traditional funeral, celebration of life, or a memorial service (to name a few). Between watching Greater and having been part of a pre-planning program at the Roberts Family Funeral Home earlier in the week, it got me to thinking “How do I want to remembered?” Not only how I want to be remembered as a person but what type of service I want after I’m physically gone.
I ask and encourage you to explore the same question(s), how do you want to be remembered? What type of service would you like? Do you want your traditional funeral service? Are you drawn more towards a celebration of life that leaves people feeling as though they attended a party in your honor? Are you not sure and wondering why thinking about these details now is important?
The importance lies not only in the service representing you and the life you lived, but also in the fact that exploring and answering these questions now helps your survivors with the logistics later. If you have questions about (or you want to start exploring) pre-planning, I invite you to connect with any of the wonderful staff at Robert’s Family Funeral Home and ask for their guidance.
It’s never too early to start thinking about your impact and how you want that to be remembered.
Here’s to living a better life as your best self.
Brittany Squillace, MA, LMFT